The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 14, Number 2 Summer 2012

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Summer 2012 Index

Articles:
1. Snack-Pack Interview: Joe Simko
2. New Product: Cereal Killers Trading Cards, Series 2
3. New Product: Lickety Spoon
4. The Origin of Breakfast Grains
5. The Cerealization of Post

Cereal Reviews:
1. Kellogg's Cars 2
2. Quaker Life Apple Cinnamon Crunchtime
3. Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime
4. Cascadian Farms - Ancient Grains Granola
5. Kellogg's Krave (Chocolate)
6. Post Honey Bunches of Oats - Fruit Blends - Peach Raspberry
7. Kashi Indigo Mornings
8. Kashi Golden Goodness

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What's New in Cereal?
1. Cereal Facts: Favorite cereals of MLB Baseball Stars
2. Kellogg's The Amazing Spider-Man Cereal
3. Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll Crunch
4. Ice Age - Continental Drift Cinnamon Cereal

Send Us Your News

Snack-Pack Interview: Joe Simko
by Topher

Zomba CrunchJoe Simko is a graphic artist who has contributed to Topps' Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages trading cards. He has quite a pop-cult following. In 2011 his new company Wax-Eye produced the first in a series of Cereal Killers trading cards. His Cereal Killers cards combine iconic cereal box art with notable horror movies. Series 2 was just released (see next article) and we caught up with Joe to ask him our snack-pack of 6 questions.

Topher: "How did you get involved originally with Topps' Wacky Packs?"

Joe Simko: "I started out painting the Wacky Packages cards after a trial run from doing Garbage Pail Kids cards. I got the Garbage Pail Kids gig when I sent it a project sample of my Cereal Killers trading card concept."

Topher: "What led you to start your own company Wax-Eye and create the Cereal Killers line?"

Joe Simko:"With the unfortunate pass from Topps to release the Cereal Killers set, I started my own company and got to work on making sure the Cereal Killers sticker cards were released one way or another. Turned out to be a fortunate happening, since I now have complete control over the series, and I get to do it how I always wanted it to be seen."

Topher: "I understand that Zomb'a Crunch, a Cap'N Crunch sendoff, is your favorite in the first series that you produced in 2011. Why is this your favorite?"

Joe Simko: "It was my first cereal spoof painting, and poured the way for all the rest of my cereal parody artwork. I've painted over 100 cereal gags now, and actually a few new favorites in the crunch bunch."

Topher: "What's your favorite in the newly released Series 2 set?"

Joe Simko: "Always hard to pick the favorite child. But I think the gross-out monster related ones pop for me, like 'Splice Krispies', or 'Fruity Terribles'."

Topher: "In a 2011 interview you mentioned that Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were your favorite cereals growing up. What cereals do you like to keep in your pantry these days?"

Joe Simko: "Hmmm, believe it or not I've gone through them all. From the newest jaw junker cereal to the grainiest of fiber bland lands. Currently I'm trying out the new Cinnamon Roll Cap'n Crunch. Not joking - I've been getting slight toothaches after just 3 bowls of this stuff. Gotta love Cavity Crunch."

Topher: "What's next for Cereal Killers?"

Joe Simko: "We hope to keep the brand alive with more goodies that are not just card related but in different mediums. Don't wanna divulge too much just yet. All is contingent on how well our sets sell. So if people wanna help support Cereal Killers from Wax Eye they can order from our site at www.Wax-Eye.com. Thanks!"

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New Product: Cereal Killers Trading Cards, Series 2
by Topher
Cereal Killers Series 2 In early July 2012, Castle Wax Eye officially released their 2nd Series of "Cereal Killers" Trading Cards. Written and painted by Wacky Packages artist Joe Simko, this second series features an all-new set of 55 sticker cards.

Yes, series 2 cards double as peelable stickers. Boomers can relive memories of all those great stickers we got in the 60's and 70's that we permanently stuck to walls and furniture that made Mom so happy with us. A few of the awesome cards you'll find include Cata-Comb, Meaties, Cinnamon Ghost Crunch, and Splice Krispies.

Cereal Killers combines iconic cereal box art with notable horror movies. This 3-pack mini cereal box set includes 60 cards (the entire 55-card base set and 5 random duplicates) plus 6 or 7 random chase cards (including the highly popular 1 of 1 sketch cards) and 3 eyeball gumballs. They are also available in single packs or via the Pop Hobby Box which includes 24 Packs with 8 Sticker Cards per pack, 1 poster and 2 to 4 random chase cards per hobby box. You can find the cards online at Wax-Eye.

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New Product: Lickety Spoon
by Topher
Lickety Spoon I came across this hilarious spoon at LIVINGroyal.com. It a regular sized teaspoon that is intended for most children over 3. The dishwasher-safe Lickety Spoon is made of stainless steel with a soft, food-safe silicone handle. The kicker, as you can see, is the spoon looks like the child is sticking his tongue out at you when he eats his cereal.
Hey, if this is what it takes to get my kid to eat breakfast in the morning, all the better. Hard to resist! The folks at Living Royal have a lot of unique items and are constantly updating their site with new offerings.Lickety Spoon

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The Origin of Breakfast Grains
by Topher

Cereals study book I was thumbing through the 1935 unit study book (# 605) for school entitled "Cereals" by Lydia J. Trowbridge which I found on eBay. Did you know that none of the cereal grains, except Indian corn, is native to North America? Rice was found growing wild in China thousands of years ago. Rice is thought to have arrived in North America in 1694: "a ship from Madagascar put into Charleston harbor for repairs. When the repairs had been made, the captain gave the Governor of South Carolina a present... of great value from the Orient --- a sack of seed rice".

According to Innvista, "Barley is thought to have originated before 8000 BC as a wild grass in the dry lands of southwest Asia, where wild strains can still be found. Recent research shows that it may have had two centers of origin. One in the highlands of Ethiopia and the other in southeast Asia. By 5000 BC, barley was known to have been cultivated in Egypt. As far back as 3500 BC, the Sumerians used barley as a basis for both a measuring and a monetary system. The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi mentions the grain as a means of simple monetary exchange. The Spanish introduced barley to South America in the mid 1500s. Colonists took it to the southwestern US in the early 1600s; and English and Dutch settlers took European varieties to the eastern areas of the US."

Oats and Rye are younger grains. New Hall Mill suggests that "Rye probably originated from the mountains of North Africa and the Near and Middle East, evolving as a food crop about 3,000 BC." Innvista says "Rye appears to have existed during the Bronze Age, but only came into cultivation after that of wheat, barley, and oats. The Egyptians and Sumerians did not include it in their range of crops, and the ancient Greeks and Turks labeled it as an intrusive weed -- just like oats. It appeared in Europe about the time of the Middle Ages when, rather than separating it, rye was ground along with the wheat into a flour."

Lance Gibson and Garren Benson, Iowa State University, Department of Agronomy, write that "our present cultivated oats developed as a mutation from wild oats. They think this may have taken place in Asia Minor or southeastern Europe not long before the birth of Christ. Probably the oldest known oat grains were found in Egypt among remains of the 12th Dynasty, which was about 2,000 B.C. These probably were weeds and not actually cultivated by the Egyptians. The oldest known cultivated oats were found in caves in Switzerland that are believed to belong to the Bronze Age. Oats were first brought to North America with other grains in 1602 and planted on the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts."

Lance Gibson and Garren Benson suggest "Wheat is believed to have originated in southwestern Asia. Some of the earliest remains of the crop have been found in Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. Primitive relatives of present day wheat have been discovered in some of the oldest excavations of the world in eastern Iraq, which date back 9,000 years."

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The Cerealization of Post
by Topher
New Post LogoRalcorp Holdings spun-off Post Holdings on February 3, 2012.

Post, which makes the Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Shredded Wheat, Selects, and Grape Nuts lineups (among others), is once again a stand-alone company. Ralcorp will refocus its efforts on their private-label cereals.

Ralcorp is a pretty schizophrenic company. In 1997 it sold off its branded ready-to-eat cereal business, which included the Cookie Crisp and Chex brands, to General Mills. In 2008, they bought Post from Kraft, and now --- just 4 years later --- they loaded Post up with a lot of debt and distributed it to existing shareholders.

C.W. Post's cereal company began in 1895. They eventually became known as General Foods in 1929, which by then was a more diversified food company. General Foods was bought by Philip Morris --- now known as Altria Group, in 1985. Philip Morris also bought Kraft in 1988 and merged Kraft with General Foods in 1989. Kraft General Foods acquired Nabisco in 1993 and folded it into its Post Cereals subsidiary. Kraft General Foods was renamed Kraft Foods in 1993. In March 2007 Altria spun-off Kraft Foods as its own publicly traded company and a year later Kraft sold Post to Ralcorp.

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"The Great American Cereal Book" (Reprise)
by Topher

ABRAMS Books published "The Great American Cereal Book", a full color 368-page hardcover tome of breakfast cereal. Co-authored by Marty Gitlin and Topher Ellis (hey, that name sounds suspiciously familiar), the book features stunning photography from Rob Ritzenthaler and Don Chick.

The Great American Cereal Book350 images of cereal boxes, advertisements and premiums from 1863 to 2010 are gloriously presented along with historical information (complete with dates, ingredients, slogans, spokescharacters, and interesting facts) on all of your favorite, not so favorite, loved, and forgotten cereals.

Printed on high quality paper and strategically priced under $20, this massive (a whopping 1.5 inches thick and weighing in at almost 2.25 pounds) encyclopedia of cereal is available now at your favorite bookstore, online, or specialty retailer.

Mentioned and reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, N.Y. Times, Reader's Digest, Smithsonian Magazine, and countless other quality publications and websites. Wow!

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Cereal Reviews
by Dr. Castle

Kellogg's Cars 2
Kellogg's Cars 2Cars 2: Being the parent of two girls, this is not a cereal that I would likely buy since it is not a character or movie they are much interested in. That point aside, there is nothing else about the packaging that would keep me away from it. It gives the cereal the presentation of trying to dress up an otherwise healthy cereal, with a character a child would like. As for the cereal, perfectly good, Cheerio type cereal. Not as good of quality or taste as cheerios. It did not keep up it's crunch long in the milk either. The girls were happy to have it but could otherwise take it or leave it. I would give this 4 Boxtops ("We Have A Spill On Aisle 4". Feed it to your dog.)

Quaker Life Apple Cinnamon Crunchtime
Quaker Life Strawberry Crunchtime

Quaker Life Crunchtime Pictures on the box are creative and well done. Cereal design that almost makes it look like smiley faces is an added plus for the cover. Can't help but feel a bit nostalgic when I see the Life logo and it just makes me feel like this is a good healthy thing that more than just Mikey will eat. As for what is inside the box, on the apple cinnamon has a great natural flavor. It is similar to Apple Jacks but not as sweet or fake of a flavor. On initial tasting, this has a better flavor. The strawberry Crunchtime is not the same. The strawberry flavor tasted very artificial and fades quickly upon chewing and then leaves you with a bit of an aftertaste. Both of these are a bit mealy tasting and do not hold up well in milk. The apple cinnamon would be a great snack on its own without the milk. The strawberry looks good on a store shelf but will not be finding a home on my shelf anytime soon. Apple Cinnamon is rated 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase) and the Strawberry 2 Boxtops (Why Bother. Leave It On Your Grocer's Shelf.)

Cereal Reviews
by Topher, Editor

Cascadian Farms - Ancient Grains Granola
Cascadian Farms - Ancient Grains GranolaCascadian Farms recently introduced it's latest organic granola featuring whole grain oats and three ancient grains: Quinoa, Spelt, and Khorasan Wheat. Great name and concept!

Quinoa is a super seed that has grown in the high altitude climates of South America for over 500 years and was a sacred crop of the Incas. It has a nutty, mild flavor. Spelt is a full-flavored wheat grain from Central and Southern Europe and has a sweet, hazelnut flavor. Khorasan Wheat is a rich, buttery grain from Egypt. Together, these ancient grains add an air of mystery to your morning.

Exploring the cereal, it has a fairly classic brown sugar and cinnamon granola taste with nice crispy clusters. It's especially tasty with fresh blueberries or peaches mixed in. With the exception of the puffed rice someone threw in here to add bulk to an otherwise uber-small 12.5 oz offering, it's a nice cereal. The rice is lactose intolerant and provides an unnecessary sog which leaves the last several bites in ruins. 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.) It's a "7" if they vanquish the rice.

Kellogg's Krave (Chocolate)
Kellogg's KraveKellogg's Krave are small pockets of chocolate treasure encased in cereal. They truly have a strong chocolate flavor, reminiscent of a milano cookie without the mint. It makes for a good snack. Milk softens the cereal and gives the chocolate a creamier texture but the cereal melts away in a mealy softness that gets stuck in your teeth. The chocolate favor is very intense. Bite one open and you'll be surprised how little chocolate is really inside. It's a winner, but could be better. 7 Boxtops dry (Very Good! Recommend Purchase.) / 6 Boxtops in milk (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Post Honey Bunches of Oats - Fruit Blends - Peach Raspberry
Post Honey Bunches of Oats - Fruit BlendsBy now most folks are very familiar with Post's Honey Bunches of Oats line of branded cereals so I don't need to go into too much detail here. This one has crispy peach-flavored flakes and crunchy raspberry-flavored granola clusters. The overall flavor was good. The raspberry-flavored clusters added a nice zing. However I couldn't discern the peach flavor in the flakes which wimped out early in milk. A banana blueberry version is also available. 6 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Kashi Indigo Mornings
Kashi Indigo MorningsKashi's new organic cereal tastes like a lightly-sweetened kettle corn with a nice berry kick. "Indigo Mornings" refers to the dark blue freeze-dried blackberries and blueberries that arrive in the bottom half of your cereal box. Unless you open the box from the bottom, your first two bowls will be all organic molasses-and-evaporated-cane-juice-coated puffed whole-grain corn flakes with a slightly burnt flavor and toothy tackiness, while the last few bowls can be enjoyed with the dark berries included. The unique puffed floating corn flake cereal stays crispy in milk.

The cereal needs some work and could easily be reintroduced as Kellogg's Kettle Korn (without the berries) or General Mills Cracker Jack (with peanuts and a prize). They just need to figure out how to rid themselves of the burnt flavor. I really wanted to like this cereal. 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse.)

Kashi Golden Goodness
Kashi Golden GoodnessKashi's Golden Goodness refers to its delicious seven whole grain flake blend containing oats, brown rice, red wheat, rye, triticale (a wheat/rye hybrid), barley and buckwheat; along with corn flakes, and crispy rolled oats and puffed wheat clusters lightly sweetened with molasses.

It's a very flavorful cereal for folks that like the taste and texture of whole grains. It's also packed with 5 grams (20% USDA) of dietary fiber per 1.25 Cup serving. A side panel suggests mixing the flakes into a pancake batter. It sounds like a winner that I'll have to try this weekend. 7 Boxtops (Very Good! Recommend Purchase)

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Quick Facts
During an interview with ESPN Magazine (May 14, 2012), Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen said his favorite cereal is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, "I eat it dry, right out of a napkin".

New York Yankee Entertainment Television mentioned that Pitcher C.C. Sabathia's favorite cereal is Cap'n Crunch.

Recently Released Cereal - Kellogg's The Amazing Spider-Man
Kellogg's The Amazing Spider-ManReleased in connection with Sony's July 2012 movie of the same name, this "Spidey Berry" flavored cereal has circular red web pieces and "Lizard Villain" marshmallows.

It's another eye-catching box from Kellogg's which is sure to entrap many a young consumer in the cereal aisle.

Recently Released Cereal - Cap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll Crunch
Cap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll CrunchCap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll Crunch is the latest cinnamon roll flavored cereal to hit the market. Quaker promises that "you'll love the fresh from the bakery taste of cinnamon rolls combined with the Cap'n's famous crunch. Enjoy the taste of creamy frosting and rich cinnamon swirled into every bite".

Recently Released Cereal - Ice Age Continental Drift Cinnamon Cereal
Ice Age Continental Drift Cinnamon CerealIce Age Continental Drift Cinnamon Cereal is being released with the 4th Ice Age movie from 20th Century Fox. It's a crispy cinnamon flavored cereal. It's essentially repurposed Post Churros cereal and that's a good thing since Churros is a pretty tasty cereal.

Send Us Your News
If you notice anything new in your supermarket cereal isle, or wish to report a new cereal development, please email us. We'll give you credit for your information, or keep it confidential, at your request. Thank you.

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The Boxtop is a non-commercial publication. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by any cereal or company. All of the names, characters, brands, and icons included here are trademarks of their respective parent companies and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Enjoy breakfast and support your favorite characters!
Opinions expressed are those of the writer, which like most things having to do with cereal may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editor, anyone else on the staff, or the world at large. A good sense of humor is appreciated.
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